Investors hang up boots to don entrepreneurship mantle

Alok Mittal, Rohini Chakravarthy, Ashish Mohapatra, Anshoo Sharma, Raul Rai, Subramanya S V, Manoj Gupta and Abhishek Goyal — all once venture capitalists (VCs) not so long ago — have taken the plunge to become entrepreneurs. While the challenge of setting up a venture has spurred some of them, others have used their skills acquired as venture capitalists to kick-start their entities.

Raul Rai, a former managing director at General Atlantic and Fidelity Private Equity, is now founder and chief executive officer of Nicobar, a lifestyle venture by Eicher Group. He is married to Simran Lal, CEO of Eicher Good Earth. ‘‘I left private equity to create not a company but a culture, a workspace that is energising. I defined our culture before drafting the business plan,’’ said Rai.

He said Nicobar exists to shape culture — to create a way of life that is distinctly Indian yet globally relevant, introducing design for everyday life. “At Nicobar, we’re creating a modern Indian way of living, dressing and looking at the world,” he said. Rai feels business families play a key role in fostering start-ups that are subject to the same rigour as others.

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